Post last updated on March 23, 2023
Image credit: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Here you will find an interview posted at the website of the Hoover Institution, a think tank located on the campus of Stanford University. (This link takes you to the actual posting of the interview at the website of the Hoover Institution.) The recent interview with Dr. Stephen Meyer follows the March 2021 release of his book, Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe. Dr. Meyer is Director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington. I have not read the book at the time of this posting, but listened to a few interviews, of which this is a good representative. I am including the link here for those interested in listening to the interview themselves.
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Christians familiar with the Intelligent Design movement will appreciate its many contributions, but also recognize that its efforts represent a different kind than the one committed to the church. Proclamation is the responsibility of the church, but this fundamentally depends upon the content of scripture (1 Corinthians 1:21 ff.). Scripture, we must remember, is uniquely and irresistibly revelatory. The efforts of such organizations as the Discovery Institute, however, are investigative and merely confirmatory. These institutions possess no inherent authority, and can only employ methods that inquire and test what scripture has already proclaimed without them. This fact does not at all invalidate these institutions; it rather places them in their correct and modest context. I suspect everyone at the Discovery Institute would happily agree with this assessment. It is wonderfully ironic, then, that such institutions do their best work by employing the empirical methods of the Enlightenment to disrobe skepticism’s worst prejudices.
This distinction of kind is often forgotten. Accordingly, some Christians are frustrated when a scientific journal does not go as far as a sermon. On the other hand, others sometimes grant scientific studies more authority and wider context than is warranted. When someone says something like, “science says,” he ignores the fact that science has neither a mind nor a voice. Scientists, of course, have both; but individual scientists merely add or detract from a collected table of observations that serve to confirm or contradict previously held conclusions. Even as inquiry depends upon the assumption of an ordered universe, it must also confess that its findings are subject to reconsideration.
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When people now speak of science, they frequently have only one notion in mind—that of the modern empirical method. The fact of the matter is that science is best understood as knowledge, to which there are several methods of discovery. Older cultures appreciated this fact, but this seems almost now forgotten in the West. It is only the present iteration of the academy—all the while professing a convivial spirit of inquiry—that men mistakenly confine knowledge to what can be verified in a laboratory. It is quite true and wonderful that the empirical method has yielded great help in the modern age (Dr. Meyer speaks to this in his interview), but this is not the only method of discovery belonging to men and “science.”
Accordingly, when Paul writes Timothy to avoid “science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20), his warnings are not reserved to the empirical sciences—a modern preoccupation; but Paul cautions against skepticisms and false assumptions, whatever their form or method—natural or supernatural, whether empirical or deductive. To put it another way, our knowing is not reserved to the benefit of the empirical sciences. Men have their methods of inquiry, and the Creator has his method of proclamation: the preaching of scripture by the church of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:21). The interesting feature of this interview is that Intelligent Design proponents increasingly discover a creation that is consistent with the revelation already contained in scripture.